getting ready

brother G’s youngest turned 4 yesterday (4 on june 4 — golden birthday!) and he (G) sent out the following picture the day before:

maybe turning 4 will improve his fashion sense?

one of the most wonderful things about kids is when they reach the age where they can and do dress themselves. the combinations of shirts and pants and socks and tutus and tights and shoes they put on is awfully endearing.

it’s also how they learn (a) how to put on clothes and (b) which clothes match, or not, depending upon the intended end result.

they figure out (a) by if they’re mobile in their clothes and they understand if (b) is correct by judging their parents’/siblings’ reactions. much laughter probably means they should turn around and try a different combination of clothes from the closet.

which got me thinking about writing.

we first have to learn (a) how to write and plot and create and dream and (b) if the story, plot, characters match.

we can figure out (a) by writing and writing and writing some more and we’ll know if (b) is working based upon the reactions of our critique partners, agents, editors, beta readers, real readers (depending upon what level of publication you’ve reached).

but the most important thing i realized from my nephew’s current fashion sense is that the beginning/the learning/the figuring out of clothes/writing is messy, crazy, and silly, as it should be. the only way to learn what’s right is by doing what’s wrong. it’s also very important not to take life or your outfit or your manuscript too seriously because where’s the fun in that?

cheers to mismatched socks, plots, and birthday cakes.

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6 thoughts on “getting ready”

  1. What a lovely toast! :) Your nephew is super cute, and also very educational :) That is an excellent lesson that we can’t learn enough — you don’t know if something works or not until you try.

    1. “you don’t know if something works or not until you try.” very true and very well articulated.

      and yes, i agree. my nephew is adorable!

  2. Aw. Happy Birthday to your nephew! He’s adorable. :)

    I love the “I can dress myself!” clothing age. Kids are so creative–and brave–with their fashion selections. *grin*

    1. ooh, bravery. that’s another great way to look at it. we have to be brave in spite of our minimal knowledge because only then can we learn.

      also, his fashion choices are not bad at all because, really, it’s only his socks that are mismatched and those will be covered with shoes. kudos to him!

  3. Very good! As you may remember, one of the projects I worked while working full time was to prove we understood and could fix a failure by designing and testing so we could reproduce the original failure. We were successful at this although it took almost 2 years of our time. We called our test “success through failure”. Love, Grandpa

    1. it looks like this “formula” works in all areas — writing or engineering or mathematics or cooking or anything other job you can think of.

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